Matt Munro

South Florida & the Keys

It’s hard not to fall for South Florida, with its sun-kissed beaches, alluring islands and wildlife-rich wetlands.

The Magic City

Miami is all about the imagination and innovation, and the city's rapid growth, redevelopment and general glitz-up make it live up to its moniker – the Magic City. Move from the extravagance of Lincoln Rd and the ephemeral neon beauty of Ocean Dr to the white sands of Miami Beach. Gaze at the cloud-kissing skyline of Downtown Miami, the magnificent local flora at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens and the sun-dappled marinas in Coconut Grove, or take in the fantastic architecture and art at the Perez Art Museum. It's all enough to make you believe Miami's magic is real.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

In South Florida and the Keys, nothing succeeds like excess. People take indulgence to Roman Empire levels, from the music-video-like pools of Miami Beach's extravagant super hotels, to buckets of beer and fried shrimp in the Florida Keys, to expertly shaken cocktails mixed under a Little Havana moon. Even the skyscrapers are a testament to the region's push for size and extravagance. Fortunately the best purveyors of food and fun are realizing the good times can't roll at overdrive forever, and are incorporating sustainable business practices.

Everglades Encounters

South Florida's most appealing feature is its natural beauty, especially the spectacular wetland ecosystem of the Everglades. A colorful cast of characters inhabits the fringes (and occasionally, the heart) of these swamps, marshes and rolling prairies. Alligator wrestlers and Bigfoot hunters share a beer at crab shacks, while panthers prowl the backyard, and environmentalists document the magic of this unique wilderness. The Everglades is nature at its most alluring; the ripple of bubbles as a gator submerges into the blackwater bayou, and the sword-billed fish dive of waterfowl hunting the sparkling sloughs.

The Keys to Quirk

America’s eccentricities (and quite a few eccentrics) coalesce in the southeast corner that is South Florida. And the truly unconventional are found in the sun-dappled islands of the Florida Keys. This lovely island chain is connected by the Overseas Hwy – one of the nation's great road-trip byways. Here you’ll find drag queens working day jobs as boat captains, ‘No Name’ islands inhabited by miniature deer, and colorful Key West: a tolerant pot of gold at the end of a rainbow flag. And all ensconced within the natural beauty of shimmering bays, serene tidal flats and emerald islands.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout South Florida & the Keys.